The authors declare that they have no competing interests.
Original idea: ER, ES. Statistical analyses: ES with input from ER. Writing: ER, ES with critical input from NB, FG. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.
In Austria, mortality from diseases of the circulatory system and malignant neoplasms is high and varies among the federal states. Lower mortality in some states indicates a preventive potential in those states with higher mortality.
We computed the number of premature deaths, for women and men separately, from the two leading causes of death, diseases of the circulatory system (ICD-10: I00-I09) and cancer (ICD-10: C00-C97), in the nine Austrian federal states between 2010-2012. The potentially preventable deaths per federal state and sex were calculated by subtracting expected deaths from observed deaths.
The western federal states had the lowest death rates, and thus the smallest preventive potential. In death from circulatory diseases and from cancer the differences between women and men varied remarkably between the federal states. For circulatory diseases among all federal states the highest difference in percent was given in Vorarlberg (6.2 %) with more potentially preventable deaths for men. For cancer, Burgenland had the highest difference (8.6 %) in comparison with the other federal states, again with the higher preventive potential for men.
Intervention programs as lifestyle modification interventions as well as improvements in health care services provision, should focus on the characteristics of the specific federal state, which are setting-oriented and account for social determinants including sex/gender differences and economic factors. Relevant data gathering is therefore, urgently needed.